Does the US see the UAE as the new geopolitical leader of the Gulf?

UAE at the forefront of the Iranian threat

The UAE’s geographical position places it at the forefront of what it and the US view as the Iranian threat, and is hence crucial in balancing that threat and ensuring that it does not grow. The UAE is also very active in developing its military and geopolitical position in the face of this threat, and the results of this can be observed not only in the domestic growth of the military but also the Southern Separatists in Yemen who they fund and back.

In the last few years, the US has realized the strategic importance of the UAE and their clear intent and has hence kept constant contact and collaboration with the Gulf State. As recently as last month, the UAE and US discussed issues of common interest, including ways to continue working together to counter extremism, challenge the broad range of threats posed by Iran, and promote more inclusive and peaceful societies in the Middle East, during a meeting between Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation with senior US government officials.

“The UAE and the US are close friends and strong allies,” said Shaikh Abdullah. “Our enduring bilateral partnership with the US is based on shared values and a common outlook for a more inclusive and peaceful future in the region.” In a sign that the military collaboration between the US and the UAE is stronger than ever, last week, the joint military exercise between the ground forces of the UAE and the United States, dubbed “Iron Union 12”, concluded successfully achieving the desired goals and plans.

The regular ‘Iron Union’ exercises allow the forces to practice communication and coordination, ensuring they are prepared if they find themselves on the battlefield together for real. The Iron Union exercises take place twice a year, with the most recent being the 12th. A larger UAE/US exercise, Native Fury, is also coming up soon. The US has put its faith in the growing military and geopolitical prowess of the UAE will continue to do so, as tensions with Iran grow.

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